Meet Bandana Jethi! Bandana is a single mother of two, a rice paddy farmer, and a businesswoman from Mundahahapatana, India, where she lives with her parents and brother.
Bandana has mastered the art of cultivating and selling rice. When her own paddy field is not producing, she buys rice from other farmers, rents a truck, and drives to Bhubaneswar, where she sells the rice for a profit. However, Bandana is not the only inspiring female farmer-businesswoman in Mundahahapatana.
Since 2005, Bandana has been a member of Chakratirtha DMS SHG, a group of 14 female farmers and small business owners from the same village who seek to work together to improve their quality of life. The group borrowed $4,500 from Kiva so each member could grow her business.
Bandana used her portion of the group loan to purchase seed and fertilizer for her paddy farm. With the profits, she plans to increase her savings and scale her enterprise. Describing the significant growth her business has seen since taking out a Kiva loan, Bandana says she used to make the drive to Bhubaneswar to sell rice once every 15 days. Now, she makes the trip three times a week!
Bandana looks forward to borrowing another, larger loan so she can continue to expand her burgeoning business and provide a better quality of life for her family.